Thursday, 25 August 2011

Supercar - A [2005]



Artist: Supercar
Album: A
Label: Ki/oon

The first release in a double compilation by one of my favourite Japanese alternative rock bands Supercar. The great thing about this album (and it's counterpart, B [2005]) is how to shows the fluid progression from the early britpop influenced records through to the electronic experimentalism of Futurama [2000] and Answer [2004].

As the title suggests, A is a singles collection of all of the A-sides of the band's career. Friends of mine often wonder why I'm so fond of Supercar, and true, on the surface they do kind of sound like a bunch of Japanese teenagers imitating their Western idols, but if there's one thing that this record shows more than anything, it's that their singles of were of consistently high quality, even in the early days, where the compositions are far from simple and they come off like a shoegaze band with a high budget, bundles of ambition and a penchant for epic orchestrations (see the track "Planet").

In spite of the fact that the band really wore their influences on their sleeves pretty heavily for the first half of their career, as soon as the Futurama-era tracks kick in (with "Fairway"), it's clear that the band are going far deeper into their music, and digging up some really bizarre and unique stuff, like bookending an electro-pop track with samples of African drumming. The synth programming on Highvision [2002] and Answer is sublime, and examples of it can be heard towards the end of the compilation, with the space-age beauty of "Yumegiwa Last Boy", "Aoharu Youth" and "BGM" punctuating the latter sector of the record.

If you've yet to become acquainted with Supercar, then this is probably the best way to do so. Here is some of the band's greatest moments in a compact package that serves as a great glimpse at the band's ten-year history.

Tracklist:

1) Cream Soda
2) Lucky
3) Planet
4) Drive
5) Sunday People
6) My Girl
7) Love Forever
8) Fairway
9) White Surf Style 5
10) Strobolights
11) Yumegiwa Last Boy
12) Aoharu Youth
13) Recreation
14) BGM
15) Last Scene
16) Wonder Word

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